Escape from Monster City

This is my entry for Ludum Dare, August 2011. The contest gives participants 48 hours to create a game around a theme announced at the beginning, but I only had about 12 hours total to invest in it. This is what I came up with!


The theme of the contest was "escape", so in my game, the player controls a character trying to escape a city infested with sleeping monsters. I wanted to give the game a bit of a creepy atmosphere, with monsters lurking around every corner that the player must get around without waking. I'm not positive I achieved my original goal, but I'm pretty pleased with the results. When a monster does inevitably wake, the player can escape around the city buildings by running away, but with the added risk of running into even more monsters.

This was also my first time using Processing, which made it even more interesting to create a playable game in just a few hours. It was like learning a new language by entering a writing contest, but I'm pretty impressed with what you can do with Processing and will definitely be playing with it more.

The point of the contest is to see what you can do in just a very short time, so I had to sacrifice some potential features to get a playable game working. The monsters can spawn in the middle of buildings, which makes them unable to chase you- I added logic to prevent that, but it kills the framerate, so I had to do without it. Also, the game would really come together with some textures or images, but I had some trouble getting textures working with the lights- and I think the lights are pretty crucial, so I dropped that idea as well.

Anyway, I'm really happy with the game, considering the short time and new language I was working with. I'm not expecting to win the contest, but that wasn't really the point. I had a lot of fun, and I'd like to say thanks to Aaron Chu for getting me interested in Processing, and to the Ludum Dare community for making a newbie feel welcome. Also, thanks to Heather Martin for putting up with my nerding all weekend!